Former Democratic opponent: McAllister should resign after staffer-kissing scandal

Louisiana Rep. Robert Johnson (D) came in fifth in last year's jungle primary to replace U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander.

The winner of that race? Republican Vance McAllister, who this week has become entrenched in controversy after video of him making out with a staffer (who is not his wife) was published by a local newspaper.

In a video obtained by "The Ouachita Citizen," Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) is allegedly seen kissing a female member of his district office staff last December. The congressman has since issued an apology saying, "There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness.” (The Ouachita Citizen)

 

Now, Johnson says, the embattled congressman should be forced out.

"This is another embarrassment to Louisiana," Johnson said in an interview with the New Orleans Times Picayune. "I think he needs to resign, and I don't think he can be effective."

McAllister has been a no-show in D.C. since the scandal broke on Monday, missing four votes Tuesday afternoon on budgetary matters, according to the roll call of the votes. He also skipped two votes Monday evening on another budget-related measure.

A spokeswoman for McAllister said Tuesday that McAllister "is with his family in Louisiana."

In an interview with a Louisiana newspaper, McAllister said he will seek reelection “unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."

He added: “If the people are willing to forgive me, I'll keep fighting. If there’s somebody more perfect than me who they support, it’s their will.”

Longtime Louisiana pollster Bernie Pinsonat told The Hill that McAllister’s reelection chances have been “damaged severely.”

“I think it affects his chances dramatically. His chances of being reelected have been dramatically damaged by this revelation and admission,” Pinsonat said.

But McAllister has, so far, escaped widespread calls for his resignation. House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday morning that he was glad McAllister had issued an apology and that Americans should expect "a very high standard of behavior and conduct" from members of Congress.

At a gathering of conservative Republican lawmakers, only one member, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), responded to a reporter's question about whether McAllister should resign.

"I'm just lifting up Vance and his family in prayer," Duncan said, before asking for other questions.

House Republican leaders ignored a shouted question at their weekly news conference Tuesday morning about whether members of Congress should be required to attend sexual harassment courses.

When asked about McAllister on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shook her head, declined to comment and departed down a hallway with her aides.

Wesley Lowery covers Capitol Hill for The Fix and Post Politics.
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